How To Piss Off Your Colleagues

How To Piss Off Your Colleagues
May 18, 2011 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Want to piss off your boss, colleagues and customers? I’ve collected a list of the nine best ways to irritate others and kill your career and how to stop doing them.

That’s Not My Job

One of the fastest ways to piss off your colleagues is to say, “That’s NOT my job.” In every single level of responsibility, someone is bound to say this horrible phrase.

Sometimes, it’s essential to pick up extra slack around the workplace, even if the task is not within our responsibility range. Other times, some people are simply passing off their job onto you and you’ve got to have the tact to turn what could be an ugly situation into a straightforward conversation.

Simply respond by saying, “I’m not sure if X should be  my priority right now,” or when you know who is exactly responsible for the task ask, “I don’t typically handle X. Is there something that is keeping Y person from doing it?” This opens up the conversation to discuss the task or responsibly with your manager.

Brush Others Off

It’s understandable to get into a work groove and want to complete tasks undisturbed, however, at the end of the day, our job is to work cooperatively with others while serving customers.

If you really want to piss off your colleagues, give them an eye roll, put your palm towards their face, and huff “I don’t have time to deal/talk with you.” You’ll be guaranteed to be avoided and probably shunned behind your back.

Instead, indicate that you’re on a roll and that if their question or issue is not an immediate emergency, you’d appreciate the chance to talk after your work or task is done. Let them know you’re interested in helping them, but need some headspace to complete a file/project/task.

Eye Roll

There’s plenty of chances throughout the span of your career to hear the most asinine, hateful, ignorant comments and ideas. What an easier way to express disgust than a good old fashioned eye roll?

The thing about eye rolls is that they come off as immature, arrogant, and rude; if you really want to piss off your colleagues, then go for this classic maneuver.

However, if you believe in social grace, then thoughtfully control the movement of your eye and simply ask in return, “I’m not sure I understood you clearly. Could you clarify that for me?” Usually, when people repeat bad ideas out loud, they make the realization for themselves – or more than one person will confirm your feelings and agree that what they said wasn’t their best idea to date.

Steal Credit

Let’s face it, some people are more in tuned to their creative energies than we are. It won’t hurt to pass off their work as our idea or effort to someone as meaningless as an intern or direct report, or will it?

If you’re stealing credit from a manager or someone with more seniority, you’re going to get into a lot of trouble, especially when that person finds out. Piss off the person you’ve stolen from and say goodbye to any future cooperation or respect from that person and from anyone that finds out.

Instead, choose to give credit where it’s due. The more you’re associated with successful and creative people, the better! People judge by association in the business world. Praise others and allow their brilliance reflect on you.

Undermine Yourself

It’s one thing to be humble, but it’s annoying to constantly undermine yourself. Saying things like, “Oh, I’m not as creative as…” or “This idea might sound stupid..” or “I’m just a hillbilly from the holler…” are just going to make you look like a fool, but will put into the minds of others that you don’t deserve the job you have.

Simply say what’s on your mind and avoid the flakey language. It just smells of desperation and fishing for unwarranted praise. If you believe in something, then be straight forward and when it’s necessary, admit when you’re wrong and when someone else has a better idea or contribution.



Ass kissers may enjoy certain protections from the asses that enjoy having their lips on their bottom, but others lose respect for those who try to be buddy-buddy with the boss or other colleagues. It can really piss off people who actually try to do their job without implanting their lips on the nearest powerful rear.

Although it’s tempting to agree with everything the boss says, you could be undermining any future growth and evolution of the team by not forming your own opinions and generating your own original ideas. While it’s important to gain respect and enjoy camaraderie, it’s vital to remember that for the most part, everyone is looking out for number one when it comes to their job security. The second that ass you’ve been kissing is grass, you can be sure no one will want to extend a life raft to keep you from being kicked off the island.

Constantly Go Past Deadline

Hey creatives! This one is for you! It’s one thing to be a day or two past deadline, especially with all those last minute changes you’ve been getting by email, but if you really want to piss off your colleagues and clients, go weeks and months past deadline.

Nothing says lazy more than dishonoring a deadline. Just imagine how long you’d last as a freelancer if you continued shenanigans like that. You’d probably be living in a cardboard box!

Focus on your deadlines and if you’re having trouble, communicate your concerns as quickly as possible. Improve your time management skills and get help from HR or your manager if you don’t know how to manage your time efficiently. Also, turn off Facebook and any internet distractions.

Shirk Responsibility

Whether you’re a party-hardy intern or a boss who relies entirely too much on his/her subordinates, you can piss off your colleagues by shirking responsibility. Avoiding essential tasks, even the small ones that make a big difference, sends a message that you’re too good for or disinterested in your job.

The more you shirk responsibility, the less trust you’ll have. The less trust means less opportunity and lesser challenges for personal and professional growth.

Take on your work with pride and get the job done right. If you need help, admit it, but don’t try to pass off your work and then attempt to steal credit for it. If there are timelines that need to be respected, then respect them. If you have to deal with an rude customer, get support from a colleague. Do what it takes.

Don’t Have An Opinion

If you work in a creative environment or one that requires constant collaboration, the best way to piss off your colleagues is to be opinion-less. Just saddleback on the idea of someone else and take their credit. Or, kiss your boss’ ass and agree with everything they say even if it’s not the best solution for the company. How can you be blamed for a bad idea if you didn’t have one to begin with?

Not having an opinion translates that you lack in ideas, creativity, and are void of any positive contribution to the growth and development of a product or the overall company.

It’s vital to remember that opinions and ideas are fluid and constantly changing, so it doesn’t hurt to come up with some original ideas to get the conversation started and going. The less attached to your ideas and opinions and more attached to getting the job done harmoniously, the less struggle you’ll face within the team. People might not agree with your ideas, but they’ll respect the fact that you’ve taken the time to create a logical and thoughtful argument to back up your ideas.

Have another way to piss off others at work? Share your ideas here!



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